The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
What a lovely, heart-breaking, heart-mending novel. Big Billy Brennan, all 400 pounds of him, is grieving the death by suicide of his beloved son when the notion occurs to him to raise money for suicide prevention. To do so, Billy will put himself on something of public display and invite the public to donate money for every pound he can lose. His family is not supportive: they can hardly bear being in the same room with one another as the fog of grief is yet so dense. But he plows on, putting his pain to use, finding unexpected ways to cope with the loss and to make whatever sense he can of it.
Big Billy's weight has served as insulation from pain and from the people in his life. His efforts to shed himself of the weight of that baggage--literally and figuratively--speaks eloquently of the battle every one of us who struggles with our own weight fights. I cheered so hard for Billy from beginning to end; I think you will, too.
Ms. Rohan has delivered something beautiful from unimaginable places.
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